Who is Michael Barrymore? Meet the Dancing on Ice contestant who was forced to withdraw

Barrymore will be replaced by Radzi Chinyanganya in January

Michael Barrymore (ITV)

It was meant to be the year of his comeback – but Michael Barrymore’s much-anticipated Dancing on Ice debut has unfortunately been cut short.

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The former TV presenter and star of the 90s has been forced to withdraw from Dancing on Ice following an injury.

Here’s all you need to know about the star…

Who is Michael Barrymore?

Real name Michael Ciaran Parker, Barrymore was once one of the UK’s most popular entertainers.

Having started as a Redcoat in Butlins and taking part in several West End shows, Barrymore found himself a TV staple after appearences on quiz show Blankety Blank and impersonation show Who Do You Do, as well as several appearances at the Royal Variety Performance.

Barrymore landed his own quiz show Strike It Lucky (which was later retitled Strike It Rich) which grew to be hugely popular and cemented his status as a household name. The success of Strike It Lucky/Rich saw him land his own chat show, simply titled Barrymore, which ran until 2000.

Barrymore’s other TV shows included talent programme My Kind of People, a sort of beta-type version of Britain’s Got Talent. The show followed Barrymore as he travelled round the UK’s shopping centres to get amateurs on stage to perform unrehearsed.

Then-unknown Susan Boyle and Gareth Gates both appeared on the show before finding fame on BGT and Pop Idol, respectively.

A spin-off music quiz, My Kind of Music, followed and was on screen until 2002. Barrymore also fronted Kids Say the Funniest Things and Animals Do The Funniest Things.

Barrymore won the National Television Award for Most Popular Entertainment presenter for five out of six years until 2001 – since then, Ant and Dec have won every year consecutively.

What happened to Michael Barrymore?

Barrymore’s presenting career effectively ground to a halt after the body of Stuart Lubbock was found in Barrymore’s Essex mansion’s swimming pool with traces of cocaine and ecstasy in his system. Barrymore has never been charged or connected to the crime, but has been questioned by Essex Police on previous occasions.

Barrymore maintained he was “100 per cent innocent” when he appeared on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories earlier this year.

“I gave Stuart nothing. There were no E’s at my house. I had a joint. If there was cocaine he didn’t get it from me,” he said. “Stuart’s family deserve proper answers and the police have not completed their inquiries properly.

“I could not be more sad. I could not be more sorry that this event took place,” he continued. “It was at my house and they don’t have all the answers to how he got these injuries. I could not be more sad or sorry if I have to be for the rest of my life.

“Of course it goes through my head and I want things different. I wish I could change it for them. I f**ked up. What more do you want? I f**ked up.”

Has Michael Barrymore done any other reality TV?

After emigrating to New Zealand, Barrymore returned to the UK in 2006 to take part in Channel 4’s Celebrity Big Brother, placing second after Chantelle Houghton.

His popularity on the show saw him front The Friday Night Project with Justin Lee Collins and Alan Carr.

A 2010 celebrity spin-off of Come Dine With Me saw Barrymore, alongside Pat Sharp, Jenny Powell and Anthea Redfern host a dinner party.

Barrymore’s last TV appearance in the UK, besides his more recent Life Stories interview, was on a 2014 edition of The Jeremy Kyle Show, in which he discussed his showbiz career, marriage and sexuality.

Why did Michael Barrymore pull out of Dancing on Ice?

After sustaining an injury following the Christmas special, Barrymore was forced to withdraw from the competition to be replaced by Blue Peter host Radzi Chinyanganya.

“Shortly after shooting the Dancing On Ice Christmas Special I took a tumble whilst rehearsing for the January shows,” he said in a statement. “After the fall, I thought I had sprained my wrist but it turns out that it is broken.

“Unfortunately, the medics have told me that I cannot compete. I am absolutely devastated; I have loved every second of the journey so far with my wonderful dance partner Alex Murphy and the support from the public has been overwhelming.”

Michael Barrymore – Key facts

Age: 62

Famous for: Being a TV presenter in the ’90s

Twitter: @MrBarrymore

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Dancing on Ice returns in 2020